Tuesday, January 14, 2014

the least of your acts

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

- e.e. cummings

"I'd woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist."

- Fernando Pessoa

Or, the line that is likely most often quoted on this blog:

"Now I'm going to speak of the sadness of flowers in order to feel more fully the order of what exists."

- Clarice Lispector, The Stream of Life

"To be great, be whole: don't exaggerate
     Or leave out any part of you.
Be complete in each thing. Put all you are
     Into the least of your acts.
So too in each lake, with its lofty life,
     The whole moon shines."

- Fernando Pessoa writing as Ricardo Reis

How to exist? No, the question is, How to fully exist? 

And maybe Pessoa strikes upon a decent answer to this, for a Tuesday morning: Put all you are into the least of your acts.

Don't drift away from your life. But when you are folding laundry or making dinner, stirring the soup or the sauce, be wholly present. Throw yourself into your life, as the moon throws itself into the lake.

We had bought these flowers at Costco last week. And the sun had come out, and I took some photographs, which were quite lovely. I uploaded them into one program but they appeared in another as well. I deleted them in this other program. When I went back to the first - they were gone. And yes, I'd gone so far as to empty the trash bin at some point as well. I had no success at downloading the program that allows you to bring things back from the dead. In the end, I gave up. They were only photographs. I took these, instead. On a much less sunny day. But the flowers are still the flowers.

This is what it's like outside - and so you can see why we crave flowers so much in winter.

And there are so many colours in these ones. How grateful I am for colour in winter.


  1. Hi Shawna. I haven't had broadband for nearly 1 month now, today it came through again - I just wanted to let you know that what I missed most was reading your calm things. It is like a balm, and I am soothed immediately as I read today. Jacqueline

    1. Glad to have you back, Jacqueline! Oh my gosh, a month without internet.....I think i'd go mad! :)

  2. I never thought carnations could look so beautiful! The colours! :)

    1. I'm not usually fond of them - but the combination of colours drew me in.

  3. Everything has value - from making a pie to washing the floor. We have to remember that as we go about the tasks; to be fully present. I learned this from Plain and Simple: A Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender.

    Thanks for the reminder of this important lesson and for the lovely pix!


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